Stone-cold Stare

By: Chris Ridolphi

Before this class, I had not experienced much horror in my life; never really read any stories or watched any movies, never had any paranormal experiences and never really had many nightmares in my life. However, the one nightmare I ever remember having in my entire life, I still remember vividly today. I can’t recall many other things from when I was 5 years old, but the fact that I can recall this so easily proves the impression it had on me. Growing up I didn’t have cable television, but my grandma just down the street did, so I would always be excited to go to her house because she had Cartoon Network. Unlike the Saturday morning cartoons I was typically stuck with, Cartoon Network had the TV series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, my favorite TV show at the time. Little did I know, this particular day would be the last time I would ever watch Jonny Quest on a mission.

The premise of the show is this teenager named Jonny Quest would go on excursions with some other friends and his father Dr. Quest and sometimes would enter a virtual reality called, “QuestWorld.” In Episode 18 of Season 1, called “Heroes,” their team makes a great archeological discovery of the statue of Apollo, but it is smashed to pieces. Using a computer program, they are able to piece the statue back together properly, but the evil villain, Surd, hacks their program in hopes of stealing the statue. Because of this, they all of a sudden cannot locate the file, so Jonny and his team go into QuestWorld to search for missing file.

medusaWhile inside the virtual reality, they end up at the temple of Zeus, who is the father of Apollo, so they believe they are on the right track. When they enter the temple, they are ambushed by the evil Surd, who is disguised as the goddess Medusa! She was a terrifying green creature, with deep, glowing red eyes and snakes for hair. Jonny shouts to not look in her eyes, but his friend is immediately turned into stone. She then turns to Jonny making squelching growling noises and yells, “look into my eyes, boy!” and releases snakes from her head to chase him, followed by, “I will give you eternal life…in stone!” in the same horrifying tone.

This was a pretty tame show up to this point; Jonny would always succeed in his missions and nobody had ever died before. Although Jonny would have surely ended up on top like he always did, I didn’t even give him close to a chance and ran out of my grandma’s house crying, leaving my mom and grandma very concerned. That night, and thankfully only for the rest of that week, I had a dream each night with the vision of Medusa’s snake-filled head staring at me with her creepy glowing eyes shouting, “look into my eyes, boy!” and then I would start to turn into stone. Needless to say…I never watched that show again.

Link to Episode

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3 thoughts on “Stone-cold Stare

  1. Children’s shows have a weird quality to them; one where they can have the most outlandish characters and it is acceptable. However, there’s a point in a kid’s life where something will cross the boundaries and become creepy. An example of this is “Nobody” from “Sesame Street”. Just an outline of a face, he is friendly on Sesame Street which usually makes kids like him. However, eventually many kids (including myself) realized that it was just a creepy character with no body who floated around whispering numbers to me and the general population.

  2. I have to agree with the above comment about the strange creepy quality of many shows and movies made for kids. This makes me think about how different our relationship with horror and fear is as a child versus after growing up. On one hand, when I was young I was unaffected by acts of violence in movies that I would have more trouble stomaching now, but on the other hand there’s always some innocuous element in a movie that strikes us to a point where we even remember it many many years later. For me I would have to say it was definitely the accordion in Beauty and the Beast, for some reason all that yelling and creepy piano playing really got to me.

  3. I’ve noticed that a lot children shows that we grew up with have the tendency to be very creepy. I never noticed as a child how terrifying Courage the Cowardly Dog from Cartoon Network should have been, but upon watching a few episodes on Netflix to reminisce on my childhood’s favorite show, I immediately thought about this class and how these shows should have terrified me as a child. I wonder what makes children so oblivious to creepy things in this respect? Kind of like in Stone Animals, when neither child noticed anything being wrong, when the parents were so sure.

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